With the news of Buffy the Vampire Slayer returning to our television screens, I am both excited and concerned. I’m excited that the best TV show ever made is returning to our screens but concerned that it will be a full reboot rather than a spin-off of the original. It got me thinking of the original seasons run and how fantastic each season was. But which season was best? Join me as I rank the seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
7th Place: Season 1
“I May Be Dead But I’m Still Pretty”
Of all the seasons, season 1 is the weakest but only due to circumstance. As a mid-season replacement, Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t have the same production values as subsequent seasons. At times, it’s almost impossible to see what’s actually happening because it’s so dark! But season 1 did set up the ‘monster of the week’ setting and it’s kind of nice to watch Buffy before all the big bads of the later seasons take over.
The best episode of season 1 for me has to be ‘The Witch’. It was the first introduction to witchcraft which would go onto become an integral part of the show. And it introduced Amy who is a character I wish we could have gotten more of in the earlier seasons.
6th Place: Season 7
“Guy Would Probably Just Do An Anti-Anti-Love-Spell Spell…Spell”
From the first season to the last, I love season 7 for it’s great production values, high stakes drama and great storytelling. There are only two downsides to season 7 for me. Firstly, with so many new characters joining the show, I felt some of the core cast were relegated such as Xander and Dawn. Understandable but with it being the final season, it felt wrong to try and develop so many new characters. The second reason is that it’s the final season. Why did it have to end?!
There are so many amazing episodes in season 7 to choose from such as ‘Him’, ‘Chosen’ and ‘End of Days’ but I’m going with ‘Conversations With Dead People’ as my favourite episode. What fantastic storytelling! Each member of the Scoobies is haunted by ‘The First’ in different ways and it’s Dawn’s encounter that is the most thrilling and terrifying. Incredibly gripping television.
5th Place: Season 6
“A Girl Gave Birth To A Pterodactyl”
Growing up, season 6 was for sure my least favourite season. Why? Blame The Trio. I thought they were terrible villains but I understand now that they were simply the catalyst for Dark Willow to arise. Season 6 was a lot darker but it’s a season I appreciate and understand a lot more as an adult. I loved that it was so magic focused and the opening episode is probably the best opener of any season. But Tara? Oh my god, I’m still not over her death! Why Joss, why?!
I’m sure most peoples favourite episode in season 6 is ‘Once More With Feeling’ for obvious reasons but mine is actually ‘Tabula Rasa’. It was a turning point in the season as we see that Willow cannot stop using magic and inadvertendly erases everyone’s memories. Anya is the reason why I love this episode, she fires out hilarious one-liners continuously.
4th Place: Season 3
“Cordelia, The Spatula”
There is so much about season 3 that I love. First of all, it introduced one of the best characters in the show – Faith. Faith is a very damaged person – add in slayer powers and you’ve got a whole lot of trouble. The relationship between her and Buffy was really interesting to watch and well acted by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku. I also loved The Mayor as the Big Bad. Who would have thought we’d have someone as evil as The Mayor as President of the United States in 2018?
My favourite episode in this season has to be ‘The Wish’. It introduces Anya for the first time who grants Coredlia’s wish of a world where Buffy never came to Sunnydale. It was super cool to see what the world would have been like had The Master risen in season 1.
3rd Place: Season 5
“Did Everyone Know The Slayer Is A Robot”
For me, season 5 contains the best big bad of the entire series – Glory. A God from a Hell dimension who seeks The Key in order to return to her world and destroy the universe. It was definitely the most ambitious storyline they could have gone for and it worked really well thanks to a talented cast. Clare Kramer was fantastic as the evil yet fabulous Glory while Michelle Tratchenberg played the part well as bratty kid sister Dawn.
Without a doubt, the best episode in season 5 is ‘The Gift’. The fight against Glory comes to a head as she prepares to open the gateway to her world. The stakes are so incredibly high that you can feel the tension throughout the entire episode. But it’s those final moments when Buffy realises her ‘gift’ and sacrifices herself to save her sister and the world. That final scene where you see Buffy’s gravestone with the line ‘She saved the world. A lot’, gets me overtime.
2nd Place: Season 2
“Like A Care Bear With Fangs”
Most people rank season 2 as the best season of the show for numerous reasons. And I can understand why – the romance between Buffy and Angel blossoms with deadly results, Oz and Willow begin dating and Spike is introduced. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch every episode right now. And then there is Kendra, the new slayer activated when Buffy died briefly in season 1. The addition of Spike, Drusila and Kendra in the one season is enough alone to make it one of the best seasons.
Deciding which episode in season 2 is the best literally took me 2 seconds. It’s ‘Passion’. With Jenny Calendar feeling guilty for her betrayal of the Scoobies, she works to find a way to restore Angel’s soul. But when he uncovers her plan and eventually kills her – bloody hell, that was some dark television. When Giles returns home to find her corpse on his bed surrounded in roses – that was heart wrenchingly cruel.
1st Place: Season 4
“SHE IRONS HER JEANS!”
I’m sure some people will be shocked at me picking season 4 as my favourite but IDGAF. Season 4 is so much fun! I loved the college setting, I loved the Initiative, it has the best set of standalone episodes in any season and it introduced the wonderful Tara McLay. Having a same sex relationship blossom on a huge TV show like Buffy was a big thing for me growing up.
There are so many incredible episodes in this season to choose from such as ‘Living Conditions’, ‘The Freshman’ and ‘Pangs’ but I’m choosing ‘Hush’ as the best episode of season 4. I don’t think I really need to explain why. A mostly silent episode as the evil ‘Gentlemen’ have stolen the voices of everyone in Sunnydale. It’s scary, thrilling, funny and gives us Tara so it’s firing on all cylinders for me.